Lex Barker in unimaginative South African-set detective film
CODE 7, VICTIM 5 is now available in a cheap DVD, and for a few dollars (mine cost $3 US), it's passable entertainment, mostly for the presence of Lex Barker as private eye "Steve Martin" (same name as Raymond Burr's character in GODZILLA). This is a typical Harry Alan Towers production--find an out-of-the-way country where the pound/dollar goes a long way and without powerful unions, hire a lot of locals in small roles, use a lot of free locations to give the film "color," have Towers himself pen a by-the-numbers script over dinner or during a flight. South Africa photographs well (the film was shot by Nicholas Roeg, so it's no surprise), and is so unfamiliar to this American that the background almost becomes a character. The plot is the standard "someone is killing off one by one the members of a group from a previous time" and ex-Nazis are even dragged in. Ronald Fraser (best known in the USA for FATHOM, with Raquel Welch and the late great Tony Franciosa) does a good job as the local police inspector who finds jet-setting detective Barker to be a bit of a pest, but eventually realizes Barker's honesty and professionalism--Fraser and Barker are the perfect foils for each other. Nothing special here--probably of interest mostly to the Barker fan (or those who want a quick three-dollar travelogue of South Africa).
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